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In 2019, he sat out the full season in Washington. In 2020, he instantly became the starting left tackle in San Francisco. Now, Trent Williams is heading to free agency for the first time.
Regarded as one of the top available offensive linemen in free agency, the 49ers want to keep Williams. He recently said he’d like to stay with the 49ers. Mike Garafolo of NFL Media recently said that the 49ers are making a “strong push” to keep Williams.
Williams, however, wants fair value. And even though the legal tampering period doesn’t begin until Monday, illegal tampering has been happening for weeks. Indeed, if Williams were to sign before Monday, it would mean that his agents knows what else is available, and the 49ers offered something good enough to Williams in comparison to other teams.
That’s one of the things to keep in mind as new deals get done in these days before the pre-free agency negotiating period. Players that re-sign with their current teams do so after knowing what is (or isn’t) out there elsewhere.
Williams, who turns 33 in June, could help any team that needs a plug-and-play left tackle. The question becomes cost, especially with a reduced salary cap. The Chiefs just cut Eric Fisher, the Vikings have released Riley Reiff, and Anthony Costanzo retired from the Colts. Any of those teams could use him immediately.
Other teams, given the cap space, also could be in play. That could force the 49ers to pay more than they’d like to pay to keep him.